Hello listeners. Here’s the latest post in the Swindon in Business section of Born again Swindonian. This time we hear from three ex-IT people who have made the move from Java software to Java beans via Outset Swindon – those splendid facilitators of new businesses in Swindon. 

 Thanks to the help of the Outset people the hub team of Steve, Chris and Kerry have been able to create the perfect blend of cycles and coffee, bikes and beans in their new coffee shop on Fleet Street: @thehub where they offer a cycle shop for youngsters and adults and a bike repair clinic – oh and coffee of course.

As it says on their Twitter feed: “Whether you want a new bike, to fix or upgrade your bike or just want to meet with friends over a cup of excellent coffee, just call in for a warm welcome.”

Find them on Faceboook: https://www.facebook.com/atthehubswindon and make contact in the Twittersphere: @thehubswindon

So for all you cyclists out there this sounds like the place to be. Me personally? I prefer to keep my feet on terra firm and I have enough trouble with that as is evidenced the various losing arguments I have with pavements! :-( However,  though I haven’t as yet been in to sample the coffee I’ll do so soon. And I’ll probably blog about it too in this section of Born again Swindonian: http://swindonian.me/category/eating-drinking-coffee-etc/

Experience a professional, friendly service and taste great coffee in a unique environment new to Swindon.

Now – over to them:

“We are Steve, Chris and Kerry and @the hub is Swindon town centres first independent cycle cafe. We sell quality bicycles, parts and accessories and also service and repair. The shop also incorporates a quality coffee shop serving locally sourced snacks and sandwiches. Our aim is to  provide a place where people can meet in a relaxed and comfortable environment and have an opportunity to share passions in all things bike and beans (coffee) related.

 The three of us were colleagues at Zurich Insurance in excess of 10 years, and with over 60 years cumulative IT experience, who were then transferred to CSC when Zurich outsourced their IT to the global outsourcing company. From then it was just a matter of time until they off-shored our job roles. And indeed we we were made redundant at the beginning of 2014. 

 So at this point we decided to get out of the IT rat race and start our own business. We set about looking for opportunities in growth industries in sectors we were interested in, and decided a cycle cafe was the way forward. So here we are, a cycle cafe, keen to give a great service and grow our business.

We completed various courses provided by Outset, which gave us a great grounding (no pun intended) understanding, and self confidence, to progress our business idea into a feasible working model. All the staff members we came across very friendly, approachable and professional and they continued to give invaluable help and advice as we completed the courses and pushed forward with the business plan.
For three novices, we found many aspects of trying to get our business off the ground very challenging. We were self funding the entire project in an attempt to lower costs and this meant we had to control every step in the process.  Securing premises proved to be a very frustrating adventure, mostly due to estate agents and landlords seeming lack of interest and even getting a business bank account proved to be a long and painful process.
Outset helped us register and open the company, advised on recomended accountants and generally provided a shoulder to cry on when things weren’t going our way. As part of our 5 year plan, and as one of us is Welsh, we are aiming at a second store in Wales, probably around Newport.”